Has Pakistan Achieved Herd Immunity Against COVID19?

How widespread are coronavirus infections and vaccinations in Pakistan? Has Pakistan achieved herd immunity or close to achieving it?  The latest IHME (Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation) report on Pakistan (dated August 19, 2021) claims that "about 81% of the population have been infected, and about 65% are immune to the Delta variant". It says that the "cases and deaths are declining in Pakistan, but the situation remains fragile".      

The report defines two types of coronavirus variants: escape and non-escape. The escape variants include Beta (B.1.351), Gamma (P.1) and Delta (India) variants while non-escape variants are the original ancestral virus and Alpha (UK) variant.  The report projects Pakistan reaching 75% to 90% immunity to various COVID19 variants through a combination of infections and vaccinations by the end of 2021. 

Immunity to COVID Variants in Pakistan. Source: IHME

The IHME August 19 COVID19 results briefing on Pakistan also warns: "If mobility increases and mask wearing declines as cases are declining (people let down their guard), cases could surge again".  Here is the summary of the IHME report:

"Cases and deaths are declining in Pakistan, but the situation remains fragile. We estimate that about 81% of the population have been infected, and about 65% are immune to the Delta variant (accounting for cross-variant protection). If mobility increases and mask wearing declines as cases are declining (people let down their guard), cases could surge again."

If the IHME modeling of COVID19 in Pakistan is correct, it raises hope that Pakistan is nearing an end to the current pandemic that has badly hurt its people and its economy. Achieving this goal will require that Pakistanis continue to implement the following 5 strategies recommended by IHME. 

1) Increase vaccination through outreach and perhaps vaccine mandates from employers and making it easy to get vaccinated; 

2) Reduce the risk of major transmission if schools are to open through appropriate use of mitigation measures including universal masking, sufficient distancing of students, and periodic testing of all students; 

3) Support hospital systems that will be under severe stress in the next 4–6 weeks; 

4) Implement mask mandates in states or communities with major surges in hospitalization; and 

5) Maintain surveillance on breakthrough infection by type of vaccine and time since vaccination – as well as adequate testing for vaccinated and unvaccinated – in order to accurately track the evolution of the epidemic".

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Riaz Haq said…
Dr Jayaprakash Muliyil, epidemiologist and chairperson, Scientific Advisory Committee, National Institute of Epidemiology:

"Most of us have been infected naturally and this produces robust immunity which lasts years. There is evidence that immunity gained from natural infection would last a lifetime. I hope immunity from vaccination also lasts that long."


Dr Jayaprakash Muliyil categorically ruled out the need for booster doses (of COVID vaccine).

Riaz Haq said…
Share (in percent) of fully vaccinated population in #Bangladesh, #India, #Pakistan & #Iran. #COVID19 #CovidVaccine https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus/country/pakistan?country=~PAK

Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan has administered at least 64,554,859 doses of #COVID #vaccines so far. Assuming every person needs 2 doses, that’s enough to have vaccinated about 14.9% of the country’s population. #VaccinationCovid https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps/countries-and-territories/pakistan/
Riaz Haq said…
65% of the adult population in #Pakistan has received at least one dose of #Covid_19 #vaccine. The country has administered 83 million doses of COVID vaccines so far. https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps/countries-and-territories/pakistan/

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